Diyarbakir, also known as Amed or Amida, is located in the south-eastern part of Turkey. Its population is 1.5 million with Kurdish majority. Before 1915, the Armenians had a large quarter in the city along with an active market which was burnt to ground on the eve of the Armenian genocide in 1915. The city was famous with St. Kirakos Church known for its high tower bell which was seen from any part of the city. The Armenians of Diyarbakir called themselves Tigranakertsi in relation to the city of Tigranakert which was built by King Tigran the Great and was once the capital of Armenia. In 1915, Most of the Armenians in Diyarbakir were deported and later massacred on the road to Deir Zor. Few survived and were able to escape to Syria and Lebanon and start a new life. Many Armenian orphan children were either sold as slaves to Arabs and Kurds or saved by Kurdish families. Their names and identity were changed and their religion became Sunni Muslim. In other cases, families as whole had to change their religion and live secretly for many generations in order to survive the genocide and the continued persecution in the first decades of the Turkish Republic. Nowadays, Diyarbekir is an agricultural market center known also for its cotton textiles, leather products and trade in grain, mohair and wool. It has long been known for its goldsmith and silversmith workt. The city is linked to western Turkey by railroad and is also the site of an air base.
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